Apparently Eter9 uses artificial intelligence to learn to mimic individuals so that it can post in their absence, giving them ‘digital immortality’.
I find this creepy on multiple levels. It doesn’t promise immortality, just the illusion of immortality for others (not the person immortalised) – why? What value does it add, for whom, and in who’s interest?
In the same way that Memory 2.0 felt ‘wrong’ to me (though, I’m still not sure I truly ‘got’ the full intended meaning), for me Eter9 raises questions about data ownership. Clearly those signing-up agree to donate data, but surely it would be naive to assume permanence within the terms and conditions of service? Users no doubt will not be able to withdraw their consent posthumously! And.. what about the right to be forgotten and.. the right not to be reminded?
Came across this infograph – think it helps with identifying ways in which we already use ambient intelligence:
Ambient intelligence is an emerging technology that brings together three contemporary fields of information technology:
1 Ubiquitous computing, in which increasingly small microprocessors are inserted into everyday objects such as clothes, vehicles or furniture to make them more interactive or responsive to user needs. 2 Ubiquitous communication achieved to ever more robust wireless networking technology.
3 Intelligent or adaptive user interfaces, which allow humans and computers to interact in more natural or personalised ways.
Gagglioli et al., 2003 cited in Miller, 2011, p. 222
Miller, V. (2011). Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage
Comparing this to Williams & Bendelow’s (1998) assertion that bodies have become increasingly plastic‘, bionic‘, communal or interchangeable, interchangeable across species and virtual or hyperreal (pp. 79-85).. and Gray et al.’s identification of ‘restorative tools’, ‘normalising technologies’, ‘enhancing technologies’ and ‘reconfiguring technologies’ (cited in Miller, 2011, p. 212). Additions in the infograph appear to be ‘altering’ (i.e. genome editing) and lifestyle adjusting. The latter point is taken up in Williams and Bendelow (1998, p. 69), with the suggestion that ‘a new conception of “fitness” is being forged’, with ever-greater importance being placed on appearance and body presentation and the state of the body assumed indicative of character and mind:
“Today, the firm, well-toned and muscled body has become a symbol of ‘correct attitude’; ‘it means that one “cares” about oneself and how one appears to others, suggesting willpower, energy, control over infantile impulse, the ability to “make something” of oneself’ (Bordo 1990:94–5).” (Williams & Bendelow, 1998, p. 74).